Suriname | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Suriname

Suriname

Freedom of the Press 2005

2005 Scores

Press Status

Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

20

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

11

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

7

The government of Suriname, headed by President Ronald Venetiaan, generally respects freedom of expression and of the press, as provided for in the country's constitution. However, little investigative journalism takes place, and some journalists practice self-censorship on certain issues, such as narcotics trafficking and the human rights violations that took place under the former dictatorship of Desi Bouterse, who ruled Suriname with an iron fist in the 1980s and remains a political force within the country. This tendency toward self-censorship was strengthened after a July public opinion poll by the Institute for Demographic Research showed Bouterse's National Democratic Party placing less than 1 percent behind the ruling New Front, barely a year out from critical legislative elections. In a positive development, unlike in 2003, journalists and media entities this year were free from harassing lawsuits by public figures. There are two privately owned daily newspapers, De Ware Tijd and De West, and a number of small commercial radio stations as well as the government-owned radio and television broadcasting system, which generally offer pluralistic viewpoints.